Friday, February 3, 2023

Manipur High Court disposes PIL after the matter pertaining to Covid Second wave was addressed

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The Manipur High Court closed a Public Interest Litigations (PILs) filed in the context of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic which was then sweeping across the State of Manipur.

The PIL filed on 08.05.2021 by Naresh Maimom, an Advocate sought directions to the State authorities to procure and supply sufficient oxygen to the Hospitals for the benefit of Covid-19 patients; to ensure that sufficient ICU beds were available in all the Hospitals of Manipur; to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the local Oxygen Plants; to install an Oxygen Generation Machine in the Oxygen Plants at Thoubal and Churachandpur; to make operational the non-functional Oxygen Plants at Thoubal and Churachandpur at the earliest; and to install more Oxygen Plants.

While considering the PIL , the Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice MV Muralidaran observed that High Court has passed several orders during the course of the hearing of the petition and, pursuant thereto, the Government of Manipur has also taken various measures to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.

It is noted by the Bench that over a period of time, the pandemic has changed status, owing to the mutation of the virus. The present variant of the virus which is still active in the State of Manipur does not entail Oxygen supply to patients suffering from it.

“In any event, sufficient steps have been taken by the Government of Manipur to augment Oxygen generation and supply in the State of Manipur. Various other measures have also been taken in the context of the pandemic and the relief packages to be extended to those who were afflicted and affected thereby”, the Bench further observed.

Further the Bench noted that even before institution of this case in the year 2021, a Division Bench of the High Court has occasion to deal with issues relating to the first wave of the pandemic in PIL No. 16 of 2020, which was disposed of by order dated 16.07.2020. Various directions were issued by the Division Bench in the context of the challenges that were yet to be faced due to the pandemic and the steps to be taken, by drawing up effective action plans.

As the issues raised in relation to Oxygen generation and supply are no longer of great significance given the present mutation of the virus, the Court sees no purpose served in keeping this case pending for further adjudication.

It is for the State Government to take note of all the orders that have been passed in the and take all possible measures to guard against another devastating wave of the pandemic , the Court directs.

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